Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Sunday, December 12, 2021


 I had bought a finished-out cargo container with windows and door and an air conditioner and insulation, and had it placed in my back yard on a pad that I placed there. I even had electricians pull a permit and run proper electricity out there. It was to be my "man-cave," but really was just a place for me to do some reloading. Dad had said that I could take over his handloading operation. Among gun people, there is often a "gun room." I cleared my father's out, completely, of all reloading stuff. It took me most of a week, and I put it all into cargo container/shed/"mancave." I did some organization, but not enough, really. 

Then my father died in August. 

I had a friend tell me that he wanted to go hog hunting. He didn't have a suitable rifle. I did. I got some .35 Whelen loads ready for him. In the meantime, this meant organizing a lifetime of relatively disorganized reloading detritus, all in loosely-packed boxes. 

I got to where my sport was "box-killing," which I had originally coined when I had helped move my father back in the 1980s and 1990s. Dad would put basically trash, pocket change, loose brass, and maybe a $1000 tool into a loosely-packed box, and mark  it "Misc. Crap." In this case, I had mostly boxes full of old metal coffee cans full of brass, marked "Brass." If I was lucky, it might be marked "sorted brass." (I think that I had ONE of these.) Usually the best that I could hope for was "misc. handgun brass." One box was marked, "Loose, dirty, unsorted brass," onto which I had at some point appended with a marker: "the worst sort of all!"

"Brass" is simply the casing of a metallic cartridge. In reloading, I polish it, size and decap it, prime it, charge it, and seat a bullet to the case, resulting in a complete metallic cartridge. 

To organize the over-full room, I have been consolidating the boxes of components, and throwing out the unnecessary boxes and the trash. I usually transfer the brass to clear giant ziplock bags. The empty boxes get broken down and taken to recycling. I have killed dozens of boxes from my man cave over the past year. Over the past month, I've probably killed a dozen or so. 

I never got a full set of cartridges loaded for my co-worker in time. I found a dozen rounds, and he took my rifle and killed a nice hog with it at 77 yards. 

Once I get the scale up and running, I'll have another 80 rounds of .35 Whelen loaded by the end of the week, and hopefully another dozen boxes reduced. 

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At Monday, December 13, 2021 11:11:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Ah yes, the 'mystery' boxes... And the odd brass that leaves you wondering WHERE it came from... As soon as you go buy a tool/die/other, you will find one in the next box you open, down in the bottom, under everything else (don't ask how I know this)...

At Monday, December 13, 2021 3:18:00 PM, Blogger Carteach said...

My garage..... best left unmentioned.

I used to buy and sell reloading gear as a hobby business. An Amish youth answered my ad, and I drove over to find a room in their barn loaded with gear and supplies. The youngen explained he'd bought out an old man who did it for years, supplying local police and such.

It was van full. A badly overloaded van full. A thank God I made it home in one piece van full.

The first thing I sold was a press that paid for everything. To this day, I am still shooting with ammo loaded on that old guys supplies. I like to think he's someplace, smiling a little bit.

BTW.... 60 year old primers work just fine.


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